Window treatments from Room & Board

Window Shopping

It’s a proven fact that a curtainless window is the #1 reason people wake up too early on Saturday mornings. Well, at least it’s the #1 reason I wake up too early on Saturdays. (I love direct sunlight, but there’s a time and a place for it!) To help solve my curtain woes comes a new partnership between Room & Board and The Shade Store. At all Room & Board locations (there’s one at Ohio and Rush and two just outside the city, in Oak Brook and Skokie) and online, you’ll now find window treatments for the first time. The first collection is made up of 11 different styles, ranging from grommet and pinch pleats to Roman shades and wood blinds. They’re all made to measure and come in a variety of colors, so you’ll be able to find the perfect one for you. As for me, I’m going with the option that blocks the most morning rays.

A booth at the Last Call Sidewalk Sale

Where the Sidewalk Vends

Sidewalks aren’t just good for playing hopscotch or walking your dog. Next weekend, they’re also the place to find end-of-summer bargains. Just head to Bucktown/Wicker Park August 25-26 for the Last Call Sidewalk Sale. Area boutiques, including home décor favorites Stitch and Elevenzees, will be bringing their merchandise outdoors and marking down prices. You’ll find 65-plus shops participating on Division, Damen, Milwaukee, North, Western, and Ashland from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. Some local restaurants will also be participating, so you can get some tasty suds and nibbles too.

A glass painting from the Bucktown Arts Fest

Artists Among Us

Since you’ll already be in the neighborhood for the Last Call Sidewalk Sale, stick around for the Bucktown Arts Fest, which also runs August 25-26. The free event, which goes from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. both days at the Senior Citizens Memorial Park (2300 N. Oakley), brings together almost 200 artists—many of them Chicago-based—plus musicians, dancers, and other performers. You’ll find one-of-a-kind items like watercolors of Chicago streets by Bill Bartelt, paintings on salvaged windows by Emmy Star Brown (shown here), pottery by Twenty Dirty Hands, cool prints by Jonathan Otis, and a ton more.

A table from the American Craft Exposition

Crafty Thinking

You may hear “arts and crafts” and think of construction paper and glue sticks. Let me change your mind by encouraging you to attend the American Craft Exposition next weekend in Evanston. The event brings together 150 of the country’s best artisans and their artwork—metal, glass, furniture (like this table from Robert Hendrick), jewelry, ceramics, wood, mixed media, baskets, and much more. Chat with the artists, attend one of the interactive presentations, visit the Emerging Artists Gallery (where you can see the work of 10 promising new craftsmen), and pick up some new pieces for your home. The show runs August 24-26 at the Henry Crown Sports Pavilion (2311 Campus Drive) on Northwestern University’s campus and tickets are $15 for a 3-day pass. Plus, there’s a feel-good component: Funds raised support ovarian cancer research at NorthShore University HealthSystem. If you can’t make it to the show, you can still help with the cause. Now through August 26, there is an online fundraising auction for 26 items donated by this year’s artists at

Furniture from Orange Skin

Orange You Excited?

Have you been to Orange Skin yet? If the answer is no, August is the perfect time to schedule your first visit. Through August 31, the modern furniture and decor boutique (223 W. Erie Street, Suite 1NW) is having a showroom-wide sample sale. Select products from design heavyhitters Minotti, Bellato, Lapalma, Desalto, Kristalia, Viccarbe, spHaus, Tacchini and e15 are 30 to 60 percent off. Items include rugs, chairs, sectionals, tables, and lighting. A word of warning, this is for people hoping for a discount on amazing pieces, not for those looking for cheap price tags. For example, a Minotti Albers Sectional Sofa is marked down from $20,050 to $13,364, a Minotti Berman Armchair (shown), is now $4,230 from $5,640, a Minotti Calder Coffee Table went from $2,925 to $1,989, and an Ad Hoc Low Chair went from $8,147 to $5,865. Not everything is in the $1,000-plus range, though, so it still might be worth a visit even if you have a slightly smaller pocketbook.